SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. — Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan got an unexpected surprise as the New Year began — dengue fever.
On Wednesday Scanlan said her throat was hurting to the point she was staying away from the phone but was available to be interviewed via email.
Because of the possible effects of the mosquito-carried virus, she said, she is not going to be able to attend and participate in the 2013 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas this week. A new Miss America will be crowned Saturday at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Resort.
“I was planning on attending the pageant, as I was to help with hosting Tuesday night and was going to serve as a special correspondent with the TMG Pageant Network,” she said, adding that she was also going to have a booth at the trade show.
“However, an hour before I was to go to the airport here in Virginia, I went to Urgent Care and found out I most likely have dengue fever. I picked it up in Haiti while I was there over Christmas.”
Scanlan, a student at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., spent her Christmas break volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti.
Scanlan was the youngest Miss America in more than 70 years and the first Miss Nebraska to wear the crown. She is the daughter of Mark and Janie Scanlan of Gering and graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 2010.
According to the National Library of Medicine, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever. The fever generally lasts a week or two. While it can be extremely uncomfortable, dengue fever is not deadly and full recovery is expected.
On a Facebook post, Scanlan said the doctor told her that she could not travel and that other tests were needed. She posted that the doctor told her that in some cases the fever could damage the kidneys and liver.
“This is the worst possible timing for something like this, and I wish there was something I could do,” Scanlan posted. “Apparently there is nothing that 'cures' it; it just has to be waited out and managed.”